24 Jun Who is Bruce Kania?
Who is Bruce Kania? Kania is at the fore of the movement using biomimetics for pond care and lake maintenance. As a boy, he was a fishing guide in the floating peat bogs that surrounded his northern Wisconsin home. When he could no longer ignore the destruction of wetlands and waterways caused largely by the excess nutrients from agricultural runoff, Kania brought together a team of scientists, engineers, horticulturalists and botanists, to find a way to mitigate the problem. Their solution was to duplicate nature’s processes—biomimetics.
They created a matrix made of recycled plastic bottles (keeping all those plastic bottles out of landfills!) and used that bulky matter, which looked an awful lot like nature’s own surface area, to create islands capable of supporting the weight of plants and soil. The recycled fibers within the matrix allowed water to pass through, and also proved to be excellent material for growing biofilm—the key features of a wetland. This allowed unwanted nutrients to be “eaten” by bacteria forming on the island and in the plant roots.
In 2005, Kania opened the doors of his floating island business: Floating Island International, where he offers many ways to get involved in the work of cleaning the world’s water, ranging from citizen science on the islands to internships and partnering for sales or manufacturing. Now, he runs a Research and Development Company.
 Klatt, Brian. “Bruce Kania ’75: Floating a Sustainable Idea” Accessed via the web, May 13, 2020 https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/recognition/bruce-kania-75-floating-a-sustainable-idea/